What We Do

In Florida, the Welaka National Fish Hatchery has expanded operations to include the Eastern indigo snake as well as the Florida grasshopper sparrow.

Although the ultimate objectives and mission of the military services and the Service are different, the outcomes of the collaborative conservation partnerships are the same.

Under interagency agreements, the Service provides expertise to assist the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army in the development and application of sound ecological principles, scientific knowledge, and on-the-ground experience conserving and protecting the Nation’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats. The Service offers the military guidance for the appropriate conservation, development, and management of the natural resources on their installations while supporting military readiness.  These collaborative partnerships have demonstrated gains for our Nation’s natural resources, provide invaluable public outdoor recreational opportunities, and continue to provide conservation advantages into the future. These are synergistic relationships that benefit from working together and leveraging agency resources and expertise.

The Department of Defense manages approximately 27 million acres of land on 338 military installations that is largely protected from development. These lands support the preservation of ecologically important native habitats such as old-growth forests, tall-grass prairies, coastal beaches, and wetlands making military installations a haven for fish, wildlife, and plants, including rare and unique species.

The Sikes Act requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state fish and wildlife agencies, and military installations across the nation and in the Pacific to work collaboratively to conserve natural resources. The Sikes Act ensures the protection and enhancement of ecosystems, sustain military operations, and meet mission success. Working under the Sikes Act, the Service offers the military guidance and support for the conservation and management of fish and wildlife resources on military installations while supporting military readiness.

Our Services

Most military installations develop and implement a comprehensive plan for natural resource conservation and management (e.g., fish and wildlife, forestry, land management, outdoor recreation) on the installation. The conservation plans, known as an Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans, focus on ecosystem-based management with a goal of managing the natural resources to meet stewardship requirements while supporting, and even enhancing, military operations.

Military installations prepare their Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state fish and wildlife agencies, ensuring appropriate consideration of fish, wildlife, and their habitat needs. These plans also include components that provide a variety of recreational opportunities including hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking. This collaborative conservation between the Service, states, and the military installations to develop and implement these Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans is the cornerstone of the Sikes Act. 

Our Projects and Research

As part of their species monitoring efforts, Travis Air Force Base personnel install silt fencing and pitfall traps to reroute California tiger salamanders away from the runway.

Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration  

The Department of Defense (DoD)’s REPI program is a key tool for combating encroachment that can limit or restrict military training, testing, and operations.  The Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program protects these military missions by helping remove or avoid land-use conflicts near installations and addressing regulatory restrictions that inhibit military activities. REPI is administered by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).  A key component of REPI is the use of buffer partnerships among the military services, private conservation groups, and state and local governments, authorized by Congress at 10 U.S.C. § 2684a.  

Since 2013, the Air Force and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been engaged in a formal partnership to conserve fish, wildlife, and other natural resources on Air Force lands across the United States. This close working relationship allows both agencies to advance their shared...

The Army stewards some of the nation’s most diverse landscapes and manages over half of the Department of Defense’s land base in the United States. The Army is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find new ways to increase the conservation of sensitive species and habitats while...

Supported by the Department of Defense (DoD)’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program , the Army Compatible Use Buffers  program is a mission support tool to mitigate encroachment. The Army Compatible Use Buffers program preserves the capability, availability, and...

The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership is a coalition of federal agencies, state and local governments, and nongovernmental organizations that works with private landowners to advance sustainable land management practices around military installations and ranges. This approach promotes...

Our Laws and Regulations

The Sikes Act directs the Secretary of Defense, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state fish and wildlife agencies, to carry out a program for the conservation and rehabilitation of natural resources on military installations. The Sikes Act allows for the sustainable,...